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Granma Bookmobile Project: Update, April 2007

We have two wonderful and fantastic items to announce about the bookmobile project that leaves Los Angeles July 9, headed with the Pastors' for Peace Caravan to Cuba via Tampico, Mexico.

First, we were awarded a $5000 grant from the Christopher Reynolds Foundation to help purchase books. The award covers the expenses for purchasing the Midnight Special Bookstore’s collection when they closed down. But we still need many more donations of funds and books, as well as other library materials and supplies. If your library has surplus supplies in any of the following areas (see list below), please consider donating them.

You can help develop the bookmobile’s collection and purchase books through Alibris ( Click on 'Donate A Book' at the top, and search for our wishlist with danalubow(at) There is a large collection of titles for all ages with a wide range of prices.

Southern California librarians can get involved and begin to help collect donations for the sendoff party. It will be sometime in June if you want to come join the festivities. Southern California residency not required to attend the party.

The other bit of news is that Gerardo Hernández (, one of the Cuban 5 ( has designed various elements to be used for the exterior of the bookmobile. The Five are such heroes in Cuba and Rebeca Brull Ramirez, the director of the “1868 Provincial Library” in Granma where the bookmobile is headed is quite ecstatic that one of the Five is designing the bookmobile.

If you don’t know who the Cuban 5 are, visit the website. Gerardo is in the United States Prison in Adelanto in Southern California in the Mojave Desert serving two unjust life terms.

He listens Saturday evening 6-8 p.m. to a radio show, “Canto sin Fronteras” on progressive KPFK ( Canto sin Fronteras is a radio program that plays music in Spanish with political and social content. You can listen too, over the Internet, as well as send Gerardo greetings and even your thanks for his design for the bookmobile. Send them to Tanya Torres, the host (cantosinfronteraskpfk(at)

An art student at L.A. Valley College, Rafael Carrillo, is developing the design which will be painted on the vehicle using Gerardo’s elements.

The last bit of news is a German solidarity group donated $1500 to the project. We thank them! Other smaller donations also have been received. Little by little we are getting closer to reaching the project’s financial goals.

That is all the news for this month. Don’t hesitate to contact one of us if you are interested in helping and/or traveling with the bookmobile.

Dana Lubow, L.A. Valley College
978 Norumbega Dr., Monrovia, CA 91016 (626) 303-1078 dana_lubow(at)

Rhonda Neugebauer, University of California, Riverside
8327 Barnwood Ln. Riverside, CA 92508 (951) 776-4889 rhondaneu(at)


List of Library Supplies Needed for the Bookmobile and Libraries in Cuba

Mending glue, tape

Circulation/cataloging Cards, checkout, cataloging  Pockets Single row card drawers, 1 or 2 for date-due cards.

Art supplies Crayons, paper, etc.

Bookmobile decorations, rolls of decorative paper suitable for a party or child. Wedding or patriotic designs not accepted. Strip decorations. 4 inches wide, 50 feet minimum) found in educational supply stores), 2 ft. wide paper, 6ft.min. Mobiles

Basket of puppets (lacking basket and more puppets). (2 foot diameter the minimum for the basket. I (Dana) have a request if you live in Southern California and run across that or anything else on the list for that matter at a garage sale, immediately give me a call with the address. (H-626/2052029, W-818/947-2766) I will pick up if they are in EXCELLENT condition at a decent bargain-basement price (.25 is not an unheard of garage sale price here in Southern California for quality merchandise.)

Have: One hand puppet, mouth does not open 6 finger puppets, Folkmanis. While Folkmanis ( is expensive they are preferred, but really, any puppet in good, clean, operable condition is welcome to join the caravan. If you are an “EBayer”, they often come up there as well as at garage sales. Only clean, operable puppets in good condition will be accepted. Mouths that open are preferred to those that don’t.

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